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About Children's Technology Review




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Active Learning Associates is a proud member of the Association of Educational Publishers

"I really like how you tell it like it is... Warts and all!" Lynn Bird, Parent 

"Your publication has been invaluable in providing reliable, unbiased and realistic reviews of children's software." Teresa Bueti, Librarian

"I never buy software without consulting CTR." Jan Cuddington, Teacher

"Children's Software Revue is the best publication on children's software I've found."
Rose McKenzi, Teacher

"I have thoroughly enjoyed your magazine over the years. I was one of your early subscribers. My youngest is now 12 years old so we have for the most part grown out of much of the software that you review. Once again, I think your magazine is a great resource and I have used it many Christmases and birthdays. Thank you! Sally Chambers, Baldwinsville NY (A graduated subscriber, since 1994)

"CTR is my favorite guidance when it comes to issues involving computers and children." Lonnie Brown, the Lakeland Ledger

Children's Technology Review is designed to keep parents, teachers and librarians up to date on the latest children's interactive media products. The best way to undersand our work is to download a sample issue (PDF).

Each monthly issue summarizes approximately 50 new or noteworthy children's products for a variety of platforms. These consist of children's web sites, video games, toys and educational software products. There is no advertising content. Reviews follow a succinct 350-word-or-less format.

CTR is available by subscription in Electronic and/or Print format. Access to a searchable database or products is included in the Level 2 or 3 subscription prices.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Mission Statement: To help parents, librarians and teachers find quality interactive media/technology products for children.
  • What forms of Children's Technology Review are available? CTR is available as an electronic (PDF) and/or print periodical and a web site with a searchable database (Children's Software Finder). Printed issues are designed to be stored in a custom three-ring binder, and an annual index is provided at the end of the year. We also publish Top 100 Reports for various categories.
  • Who owns Children's Technology Review? Active Learning Associates, Inc. is a privately-held corporation located at 120 Main Street, Flemington, New Jersey, 08822, publishes Children's Technology Review. Warren Buckleitner is the Editor.
  • What is the correct name? It has changed with the technology. The first issue was printed in 1993 under the masthead Children's Software Revue. In April 2005, " & New Media" was added to the title. In 2005, the title was again changed to Children's Technology Review. The current and formal name is "Children's Technology Review."
  • Do you have policies regarding how you handle subscriber information? We do not release subscriber names to outside parties, and we have no interest in doing so. We do use email and/or address information to deliver billing and renewal notices, no more than twice per year. Please see our disclaimer for details and other legal and copyright information.
  • Do you review video games? Absolutely. We review all forms of interactive media of interest to children, ages birth to 15.
  • How long has CTR been around? The first issue of CTR was published October 1993. The review database contains 8,800 reviews dating back to 1985.
  • How do you avoid conflicts of interest? It is important for our readers to know about all sources of potential bias, and for us to fully disclose them. CTR contains no advertising, and CTR reviewers do not own stock, or serve as advisors or consultants for any company whose products we might review. See our editorial guidelines for more information.
  • What kinds of products do you review? All interactive children's media, including educational and entertainment CD-ROMs, children's video games, children's Internet sites and smart toys (toys with interactive electronic capabilities). As educational psychologists, our expertise is in evaluating the quality of the interaction between the child and the experience.
  • For what ages do you review? From birth to 15 years.
  • Who assigns the ratings? Both children and experienced reviewers. Our team of reviewers are experienced educators who understand children. They've each been trained to achieve inter-rater reliability (p < .05) on independent reviews of the same product using CTR's evaluation rubric.
  • Why do you charge for access to parts of this site? Since we are not advertisement-driven, our sole source of income comes from our subscribers. We strongly believe in providing you with the best, unbiased reviews that are available. Thank you for your continued support.
  • What happens to the products you review? CTR does not keep the products we review. We donate all reviewed products to the Mediatech Foundation, a non-profit community technology center located in Flemington, NJ. At Mediatech, new products are tested. Certain products, such as cameras or computers, are returned after the review period is over. Mediatech is open to the public. For more information, visit Mediatech's web site.
  • How can I get Children's Technology Review? Prices start at $30 for an Electronic Only subscription. You can order online and get instant database access or call 800-993-9499 from 9-3 EST. Discount subscription programs (such as site subscription options) are also available.

In the News (TO
CTR fulfills its mission by sydicating content to print or television outlets. You can learn more about our work by linking to several articles that were in print and are online, such as the New York Times, CNN Headline News (as a QuickTime move), Time, USA Today, Modern Maturity, Early Childhood Today, The Washington Post, The Las Vegas Review-Journal, ABC News. Our testing process was discussed in the Education Week article Reviewing Digital Content. You might also enjoy David Pogue's discussion about the use of computers with preschoolers (New York Times/Circuits, March 22 2001). If you have the correct plug-in for your browser, you can also hear CTR's editor, Warren Buckleitner provide testimony to the US Congress or comment on the use of technology in home schooling on NPR's All Thing's Considered.

Workshops & Speaking Engagements
CTR's Editor, Warren Buckleitner is available for speakings. Details.

Come and Meet Us in 2009 (TO TOP)
Contact us for information on any of these events:

January 2009 - The Kids @ Play at CES
February 2009 -
New York NY Toy Fair
June 1-4, 2009 - E3 Expo, LA
July 1-3, 2009 -
NECC in Washington DC
November 1-3, 2009 - Dust or Magic: Children's New Media Design Institute

Reliable & Valid Reviews (TO TOP)
In order to increase the reliability and validity of our reviews, the following steps are taken:

  • Reviewers use a form of the Children's Software Evaluation Instrument. This instrument was created after formal studies on how children interact with a variety of interactive software products, and by applying generic child development and intrinsic motivation theory. The instrument helps our editors achieve a level of reliability in our ratings, and makes it easier to compare similarly designed products.
  • CTR does not profit from the sales of award seals; and does not charge for (and monitors) quotes and endorsements. A publisher who displays a quote must follow a set guidelines to make sure the quote is not misleading. Any publisher who uses the "All Star Award" seal signs an appropriate use statement.
  • The children's publishing industry is commercial and competitive. In an effort to protect the independent, critical nature of the reviews that appear in Children's Technology Review and this web site, the publishers of CTR (Active Learning Associates, Inc. Board of Directors) follow a set of editorial guidelines.

How Do I Submit My Products for Review? (TO TOP)
Please see our review guidelines for specific instructions on how to submit your products to Children's Technology Review.



CTR Staff

Warren Buckleitner is the Editor of Children's Technology Review. After five years in the classroom and 10 years at the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, he established Children's Technology Review, earning him SIIA's First Journalism Codie Award for "Best Software Reviewer." He has been an advisor to Consumer Reports WebWatch, a judge for AEP's Golden Lamp awards, and has taught at MSU, NYU's ITP program and the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. He is a contributor to the New York Times Gadgetwise blog, and writes for Parents, PARADE, Scholastic Parent & Child and others. A former preschool and elementary school teacher, he holds a BS in Elementary Education (cum laude), an MS in human development and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Michigan State University. Warren is the founder of the Dust or Magic Institute and the Mediatech Foundation. He has two teenage daughters. More at Warren's media links page.

MaryBeth Griffith is CTR's Office Manager and Coordinator for the 2009 Dust or Magic Institute. She holds a BS in Communications from Ohio University. MaryBeth is the proud mother of three young sons, who help her better understand the world of children's interactive media. For subscription information, contact MaryBeth@childrenssoftware.com.

Lisa DellaFave is CTR's Reviews Coordinator and Copy Editor. She holds a BS in Marketing and Psychology from Kean College of New Jersey. Lisa is the proud parent of two sons, who play every type of game console. Contact lisa@childrenssoftware.com.

Bobbie Nester coordinates the LittleClickers website for CTR, found at www.littleclickers.com. She holds a BS in Journalism and Broadcast Communications with a minor concentration in Public Relations from Bradley University. Bobbie previously worked for CTR as Managing Editor before persuing a freelance career. She is the proud parent of two teenage daughters. Contact her at bobbie@childrenssoftware.com. She loves to hear from your children or students regarding future topics for LittleClickers.

Ben Kates is a student at Hunterdon Central Regional High School who enjoys reviewing games, writing, and editing video with tools in Final Cut Studio. He's worked as a summer intern at CTR. See Ben's work at http://www.youtube.com/brenekates or follow his tweets at http://www.twitter.com/ben_kates.

Matt DiMatteo is a senior at The College of New Jersey, where he's studying Interactive Multimedia. He's worked in Flash, Scratch, DreamWeaver, RPG Maker, ProTools and Maya. Matt's hopes to work in the game industry.


How do I Subscribe? (TO TOP)
Click here to use our secure subscription form or call 1-800-993-9499 from 9:30 to 3:00 EST. Suberscriptions start at $30/year.


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